Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine (Hikawa Jinja)

A Shinto shrine dedicated to love, famous for its summer wind chimes

Kawagoe city in Saitama is famous for its old Edo-style architecture and traditional shops. Among its attractions is the Hikawa Shrine, a popular spot featuring fuurin, wind chimes, in the summer. I believe I first saw them on Retrip’s Instagram — very pretty in various colors, and a great place to practice bokeh with your camera!

A shrine for finding love

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine is known for being a shrine about love, which also means finding love and en-musubi.

What’s en-musubi, you ask? Well, en is “connection” and musubi is “tying.” So they’re trying to “tie” a “connection” between you and a special someone — hence, they sell lucky charms for getting a bf/gf. While there are plenty of couples roaming around (they do have a wedding venue in one of the buildings), you’ll see a good number of single folks wishing to the Shinto gods for a significant other.

There’s a lot of references to love as well, like this fun “tai” fish. These are little charms with omikuji (fortune readings) that you can buy.

Red snapper at Hikawa Shrine
あい鯛 – “aitai” means “I want to meet you,” but “tai” is a red snapper. Cute and punny.

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine’s summer fuurin

It seems that every summer, the shrine puts up the wind chimes for everyone to enjoy. See those tags underneath the wind chimes? You can buy one to write your wish, and the chimes dangle there, ringing away in the summer wind. But for the most part, people like to form a line to walk under the chimes and take lots of photos.

In 2019, it ran from July 6 ~ September 8, so it’s likely to be repeated next year around the same time. If you’re going there for the fuurin, check their official site’s news section (Japanese).

Getting to Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

If you’re going to Kawagoe and exploring, I recommend getting the “Free Ticket” with the Koedo Loop Bus / Koedo Famous Locations Loop Bus. (If you haven’t noticed already, “free” in Japan doesn’t mean the price is free — it means it’s all-you-can-use within the designated area and time frame.) Basically, you buy it once and you can use it for a full day.

You can pay 500 yen for the Loop Bus or 300 yen for the Famous Locations Loop Bus, which has limited stops, but possibly sufficient based on what you’re planning to see. Otherwise, it’s 200 yen per ride, at the time of this writing.

We hope you enjoy your visit to Kawagoe’s shrine of love!

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

Address: 2-chōme-11-3 Miyashitamachi, Kawagoe, Saitama 350-0052
Hours: 10am – 10pm Daily (Closed during New Year’s celebrations)
Price: Free
Website: https://www.kawagoehikawa.jp/ (Japanese)

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